The latest deadline for the implementation of Lorenzo at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust has passed and there is currently no go-live date.
Health minister Ben Bradshaw indicated that Morecambe Bay would become the first large NHS hospital to use the first version of iSoft’s Lorenzo electronic patient record by the end of the summer.
However, there is no published timetable for the key National Programme for IT in the NHS software to go live in its first acute reference site. The software is eventually due to be used across three-fifths of the English NHS.
The latest delays to the first version of Lorenzo will innevitably push back the planned schedule for adding key clinical functionality to the software in three further releases, under a programme known as Penfield. This, in turn, raises doubts over the achievability of the current 2012 completion date for Lorenzo.
Bradshaw told the House of Commons this spring that, after lengthy delays, the Lorenzo software would go live at three pilot sites, including Morecambe Bay, by the end of the summer. The other two sites are South Birmingham Primary Care Trust and Bradford and Airedale Teaching Primary Care Trust.
In March, the minister said the software would be live by June: ““The first implementation of release 1 is due in June this year in Morecambe Bay, South Birmingham and Bradford.”
In April, Bradshaw was still telling Parliament that go live was planned for the summer: “It is understood that the development plans will enable the deployment of Release 1 of Lorenzo into early adopter sites in the North, Midlands and East Programme for Information Technology, formerly North West and West Midlands, North East and the East Midlands, in the summer.”
Only South Birmingham PCT is so far using a version of the software, initially for a small number of podiatrists. Local service provider Computer Sciences Corporation is offering no date by which Lorenzo will start to be used in its acute NHS reference site.
A statement issued to E-Health Insider said: "CSC, NHS Connecting for Health, the relevant SHAs and the trusts themselves are working together in a strong collaboration to ensure that the system goes live at all three sites.”
One industry source told EHI: “As ever, the answer to the question ‘when is Lorenzo going live’ is ‘three months time’. It’s been ‘three months time’ for years.”
The latest CSC statement suggests that technical issues may be contributing to delays: “As expected, deployment testing is identifying technical issues which are being resolved on an ongoing basis.”
And it says addressing such issues are more important than working to a timetable: “Collectively, the early adopter trusts, SHAs, NHS CFH and CSC recognise the need to achieve the necessary quality criteria for go-live and view this as more important than a particular date."
The continuing delays mean there is now almost no chance that the second release of Lorenzo, with more patient administration and and clinical functionality, will happen this autumn. In April, Bradshaw said : “Release 2 of Lorenzo is due to be ready for deployment in the autumn.”
Release 1 of Lorenzo is understood to include electronic requesting and some reporting, clinical documentation and assessments. This would be delivered ahead of an integrated Lorenzo PAS becoming available
Release 2 is due to begin to add an integrated patient administration system, and more clinical functionality. Release 3 is then meant to add drugs management, scheduling and beds management. Finally release 4, due by 2012, is meant to provide integrated care pathways and an integrated GP system, providing a full detailed Care Records Service.
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